From Casting to Coding: Technologies of sculptural reproduction from antiquity to the present

Session Convenors

Elizabeth Johnson, Birkbeck College

Rebecca Wade, Leeds Museums and Galleries

Session Abstract

Recent advances in digital 3D technology have opened up new and exciting possibilities for both artists and art historians, from 3D printed artworks to the use of digital photogrammetry to reconstruct ancient monuments. Situated at the cutting-edge of digital culture, these practices also participate in a longer tradition of sculptural reproduction, including casting, electrotyping, paper squeezes and stereoscopy. Critical studies of sculptural reproduction can help to develop our understanding of the ambiguous territory between artwork and commodity, and illuminate networks of exchange between art and manufacture, entertainment and education. Without adequate critical analyses of the histories of sculptural reproduction, we miss a valuable opportunity to consider the intersection between art history and the everyday.

This session seeks to explore how different types of three-dimensional reproduction have shaped the ways in which art is produced, encountered, disseminated and conceptualised. It looks to expose the archaeology of sculptural reproduction by considering its different forms from a transhistorical perspective. We welcome papers that examine sculptural reproduction through a range of frameworks: aesthetic, economic, material, social, political, philosophical and beyond.

Papers are invited which consider – but are not limited to – the following questions:

  • What role did technologies of three-dimensional reproduction play in shaping the aesthetics of sculpture?
  • Do sculptural facsimiles have their own aesthetic limits and possibilities?
  • How have technologies of sculptural reproduction reimagined sculpture’s particular relation to space and time?
  • How can discussions of sculptural reproduction animate debates on authenticity, authorship and mass reproducibility in new ways?

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenors, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018


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